Brian K. Vaughn
In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.
David says: This remains one of my favorite comic series. The story is engaging, it just grabs you and pulls you in. The art is incredible as well. It's a really fun series.
David's Staff Picks
The Bedlam Stacks
In 1859, ex-East India Company smuggler Merrick Tremayne is trapped at home in Cornwall after sustaining an injury that almost cost him his leg. On the sprawling, crumbling grounds of the old house, something is wrong; a statue moves, his grandfather's pines explode, and his brother accuses him of madness. When the India Office recruits Merrick for an expedition to fetch quinine essential for the treatment of malaria from deep within Peru, he knows it's a terrible idea. Nearly every able-bodied expeditionary who's made the attempt has died, and he can barely walk. But Merrick is desperate to escape everything at home, so he sets off, against his better judgment, for a tiny mission colony on the edge of the Amazon where a salt line on the ground separates town from forest. Surrounded by local stories of lost time, cursed woods, and living rock, Merrick must separate truth from fairytale and find out what befell the last expeditions.
Diandra says: The Bedlam Stacks is a slow meandering novel. There isn’t a lot that actually happens, but I still enjoyed it immensely. Recommend for those that are in the mood for a slow-paced story with beautiful imagery and a hint of fantasy elements.
Diandra's Staff Picks
Romancing the Duke
As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities. And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one. Ugly duckling turned swan? Abducted by handsome highwayman? Rescued from drudgery by charming prince? No, no, and Heh. Now Izzy's given up yearning for romance. She'll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six-year-old woman who's never even been kissed?
Elizabeth says: A charming and funny romance. A perfect light fun read.
Elizabeth's Staff Picks
The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler a psychologist, or "alienist" to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.
Gefen says: The Alienist is a darkly fascinating page-turner that takes you into the mind of a brilliant psychologist and his team on their search to find a serial killer. 1890s New York City is a grimy, yet lushly described setting that draws you in as much as the ample action taking place.
Gefen's Staff Picks
C.B. Strike: The Series
Based on the best-selling novels by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), Tom Burke stars as private detective Cormoran Strike, a former war veteran now working out of a cramped London office. Together with his assistant, Robin Ellacott, Cormoran tackles cases that have, so far, baffled the police. Though struggling with the psychological and physical toll that combat have wrought on him, Cormoran is well-equipped to delve into complex conundrums thanks to his background as a Special Investigation Branch investigator.
Megan says: This edgy BBC crime mystery series is based on the Cormoran Strike book series by Robert Galbraith. I have read all the books in the series and they are superb. The TV series adaptation is excellent as well. It covers the first three books in the series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm and Career of Evil.
Megan's Staff Picks
Peace Talks & Battle Ground
When the supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, joins the White Council's security team to make sure the talks stay civil. But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicago--and all he holds dear? Because a being more powerful and dangerous on an order of magnitude beyond what the world has seen in a millennium is coming. And she's bringing an army, pledging to obliterate all that stands in her way.
Nina says: The latest installments in the Dresden Files series (Storm Front, Skin Game) started out as a single manuscript that the publisher decided to split into two. The narrative of Battle Ground directly picks up where Peace Talks ends, so it really is best to read them as close to each other as possible. Combined they are only about 750 pages, a walk in the park for a SFF geek. Or more aptly, a marathon sprint through Armageddon part I. Peace Talks does its job resetting the landscape and priming the war that covers almost all of its twin/sequel. LIke any good battle sequence, Butcher focuses more on what war does to the soldier and civilian alike than on how big the explosions can be. There are casualties, both physical and emotional, and enough twists to keep fans wanting more.
Nina's Staff Picks